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Sweet Smell of Success– Blu-ray Disc Review

Harry Potttrer

Friday, 25 Feb 2011 05:46

The Movie Itself is Directed by Alexander Mackendrick, with the Writing credits of Clifford Odets (screenplay), based on the novella by Ernest Lehman, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
This film noir is set in New York City, and revolves primarily around the dirty gossiping deeds committed by J. J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster). Hunsecker is the writer of a newspaper column that has been known to help make or break the careers of those who rely on the publicity his column drives. A particular minion of this writer, publicity agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), is upset with the lack of Hunsecker‘s cooperation to mention his clients as once promised. Hunsecker is unhappy with his sister Susan‘s (Susan Harrison) relationship with an up and coming jazz musician, Steve Dallas (Martin Milner). Hunsecker‘s solution to this problem is to have Falco create some nasty gossip about the musician to break-up the relationship. Falco hasn’t exactly followed through on this request, which has lost him some credibility with Hunsecker.
Falco is equally as full of greed as Hunsecker, though not quite as powerful. To regain what mediocre control he had, Falco follows through with the planned rumors making-out Dallas to be a pot-smoker; if the plan works as hoped, Dallas will go to his lover’s brother, Hunsecker, and beg that he use his almighty words of the press to replenish his reputation with the public. In turn, Hunsecker plans to use the musician’s want of fame in exchange for a request that he leave his sister. Edit this Blu-ray disc with iMovie.
In closing, Sitting back and taking in the roughly hour and a half runtime of the film isn’t exactly blaring with excitement in all honesty, though I refer to the excitement we are conditioned to within our modern crime and thriller movies. There are not quite any “hero” sorts within this story; it is a straight-up double-shot of primitive greed gushing out of characters who are weaving and tangled in the confusion and obsession of treading on others for simple power. Edit Blu-ray film with FCE. The film is described at times as depicting “Old School Corruption”; which is an interesting thought, as the “corruption” that propels the film’s story is what makes it so versatile and appealing to audiences that span over five decades.
Perhaps the ingredient that is this film’s fuel to its fire is its absence of a generally traditional story structure; as mentioned above, it lacks a clear protagonist or “hero”. This could be seen as quite edgy for a 1957 film, and most likely why its darkness was not exactly adored at the time of its release to the “American Dream” and “White Picket Fences” crowds of the late ’50?s. Another element of intrigue within this film’s storyline is the character of Falco. This character’s trial of values almost reaches in a mythology source of sorts; will he play dirty for greed, or will he leave Hunsecker’s sister alone, and in turn of playing nice, lose face with Hunsecker and the clients that he represents as a press agent? Edit Blu-ray on Mac, Well, it is actually a little shocking how dark and dirty Falco is (for a 1957 film). Sure, there have been bad guys throughout the history of cinema, but the sheer primitive clawing for personal gain at the price of others is seen executed by the characters of Falco and Hunsecker (between each other non-the-less) in a fashion that doesn’t need all the loudness and madness of our modern films. All that is needed and committed here are the excellent performances of Curtis and Lancaster carrying out these relentless gripping demeanors.
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